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Forum staff reports, Published September 22 2013

Bell State Bank & Trust completes transaction

FARGO – Bell State Bank & Trust officially added the Minneapolis-based The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage division to the fold Monday.

The Fargo-based Bell State Bank & Trust bought the businesses in April, but the process of bringing the organizations under Bell’s umbrella becomes official Monday.

With the finalization, Bell, the largest independently owned bank and mortgage company in Minnesota and the Dakotas, adds another of the area’s biggest privately held banking and mortgage companies.

The Business Bank was organized in Minnetonka, Minn., in 2000 with a focus on small-business lending. Prime Mortgage was founded in 1986 and joined The Business Bank in 2007.

Bell State Bank & Trust was chartered in 1966 as State Bank of Fargo, with a single north Fargo location. The company now has more than 1,000 employees at 20 full-service banking locations in North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as wealth management offices in Boise, Idaho, and multiple Bell Mortgage offices in the Minneapolis area and Phoenix. The bank has assets totaling more than $2.6 billion.